Barkley, John Lewis, PFC

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Last Rank
Private First Class
Last Service Branch
Primary Unit
1918-1918, 3rd Infantry Division
Service Years
1917 - 1918

Private First Class

One Overseas Service Bar

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Barkley, John Lewis (MOH), PFC.
Contact Info
Home Town
Blairstown, Missouri
Last Address
Kansas City, Missouri

Date of Passing
Apr 14, 1966
Location of Interment
Forrest Hill Cemetery - Kansas City, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

World War I Victory Button World War I Honorable Discharge Chevron

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Medal of Honor RecipientsCongressional Medal Of Honor Society
  1918, Medal of Honor Recipients [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1918, Congressional Medal Of Honor Society [Verified]

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Born on August 28, 1895 in Holden, Missouri, John Lewis Barkley was given the title of the most decorated soldier in the midwest.  He was draftted into tthe U.S. Army in Blairstown, Missouri. 

Barkley was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on October 7,1918 while a Private First Class with Company K, 4th infantry , 3rd division.

Rank: Private First Class
Organization: U.S. ArmyCompany:
Company KDivision: 4th Infantry, 3d Division
Born: 28 August 1895 Blairstown, Mo.
Entered Service At: Blairstown, Mo.
G.O. Number: 44
Date of Issue: 12/31/1919
Accredited To: Place / Date: Near Cunel, France, 7 October 1918

Citation:  PFC Barkley, who was stationed in an observation post half a kilometer from the German lines, on his own initiative repaired a captured enemy machinegun and mounted it in a disabled French tank near his post. Shortly afterward, when the enemy launched a counterattack against our forces, Pfc. Barkley got into the tank,waited under the hostile barrage until the enemy line was abreast of him and then opened fire, completely breaking up the counterattack and killing and wounding a large number of the enemy. Five minutes later an enemy 77 millimeter gun opened fire on the tank pointblank. One shell struck the drive wheel of the tank, but this soldier nevertheless remained in the tank and after the barrage ceased , broke up a second enemy counterattack, thereby enabling our forces to gain and hold Hill 25.

His Medal of Honor was personally presented by U.S. General John Pershing. Barkley also received the following medals for his service: the British Distinguished Service Cross;  the French Medallile Militaire;  the French Croix de Guerre; the Belgian War Cross;  the Italian War Cross; and the Medal de Brauere of Montenegro.  His World War I victory medal carried six battle clasps.

In 1963 he married Elizabeth Barkley Ozias.  She was born on September 8, 1882 and died on September 14, 1969. After the war he was a member of Kansas City police department as a detective.

In Valley Forge there are fifty acres of land with one acre for each state.  Each tree there has a plaque 16 by 8 inches on it.  One tree has John Lewis Barkley, World War I . When he got out of the service he farmed just outside of Johnson County. He farmed 200 acres of land.  He also grew up with two brothers.  In the people's eyes of today he is considered to be a man instinctively liked, quiet, unassuming, and modest.  John L. Barkley also had attended Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg.


From the Stars and Stripes:

       Worked Enemy Gun from Tank
BARKLEY, EDWARD C., private 1st class,
Company K, 4th Infantry; near Cunel, France,
October 7, 1918. Private Barkely, who
was stationed in an observation post half
a mile from the German line, on his own
initiative repaired a captured enemy ma-
chine gun and mounted it in a disabled
french tank near his post. Shortly after-
ward, when the enemy launched a counter-
attack against our forces, Private Barkely
got into the tank, waited under the hostile
barrage until the enemy line was abreast of
him and then opened fire, completely break-
ing up the counter-attack and killing and
wounding a large number of the enemy.
five minutes later an enemy 77-millimeter
gun opened fire on the tan point blank.
one shell struck the drive wheel of the
tank, but this solder nevertheless remained
in the tank and, after the barrage ceased,
broke up a second enemy counter-attack,
thereby enabling our forces to gain and hold
Hill 253. Home address: Mrs. Liona Bark-
ley ,mother, Blairstown, Mo.


Other Comments:

The Stars and Stripes (Paris, France), March 28, 1919, Vol. 2 No. 08; Page 5

Blankenship, Janie; Draftees: Invaluable Contributors to the Nation's Defense; VFW Magazine, July 2009; PP. 14 - 19


Note:  Need to find "No Hard Feelings" by him.
John L. Barkley, No Hard Feelings! (New York: Cosmopolitan Book
Corporation, 1930), pp. 125�??127

Liberty Memorial Museum: One collection that was recently added [1997] has exceptionally good material on World War I Medal of Honor recipient John L. Barkley, Co. K, 4th Infantry. The collection contains a manuscript of Barkley�??s book, No Hard Feelings, letters, photographs, and other media. It attracted researchers within a few weeks of its being placed in the archives.

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World War I
From Month/Year
April / 1917
To Month/Year
November / 1918

The United States of America declared war on the German Empire on April 6, 1917. The U.S. was an independent power and did not officially join the Allies. It closely cooperated with them militarily but acted alone in diplomacy. The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived in large numbers on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. They played a major role until victory was achieved on November 11, 1918. Before entering the war, the U.S had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers. During the war, the U.S mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including 43,000 due to the influenza pandemic. The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. military. After a slow start in mobilising the economy and labour force, by spring 1918 the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict. Under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, the war represented the climax of the Progressive Era as it sought to bring reform and democracy to the world,[citation needed] although there was substantial public opposition to United States entry into the war.

Although the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, it did not initially declare war on the other Central Powers, a state of affairs that Woodrow Wilson described as an "embarrassing obstacle" in his State of the Union speech.[26] Congress declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire on December 17, 1917, but never made declarations of war against the other Central Powers, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire or the various Co-belligerents allied with the central powers, thus the United States remained uninvolved in the military campaigns in central, eastern and southern Europe, the Middle East, the Caucasus, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

The United States as late as 1917 maintained only a small army, smaller than thirteen of the nations and empires already active in the war. After the passage of the Selective Service Act in 1917, it drafted 2.8 million men into military service. By the summer of 1918 about a million U.S. soldiers had arrived in France, about half of whom eventually saw front-line service; by the Armistice of November 11 approximately 10,000 fresh soldiers were arriving in France daily. In 1917 Congress gave U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans when they were drafted to participate in World War I, as part of the Jones Act. In the end Germany miscalculated the United States' influence on the outcome of the conflict, believing it would be many more months before U.S. troops would arrive and overestimating the effectiveness of U-boats in slowing the American buildup.

The United States Navy sent a battleship group to Scapa Flow to join with the British Grand Fleet, destroyers to Queenstown, Ireland and submarines to help guard convoys. Several regiments of Marines were also dispatched to France. The British and French wanted U.S. units used to reinforce their troops already on the battle lines and not to waste scarce shipping on bringing over supplies. The U.S. rejected the first proposition and accepted the second. General John J. Pershing, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) commander, refused to break up U.S. units to serve as mere reinforcements for British Empire and French units. As an exception, he did allow African-American combat regiments to fight in French divisions. The Harlem Hellfighters fought as part of the French 16th Division, earning a unit Croix de Guerre for their actions at Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Séchault.
Impact of US forces on the war

On the battlefields of France in spring 1918, the war-weary Allied armies enthusiastically welcomed the fresh American troops. They arrived at the rate of 10,000 a day, at a time when the Germans were unable to replace their losses. After British Empire, French and Portuguese forces had defeated and turned back the powerful final German offensive (Spring Offensive of March to July, 1918), the Americans played a role in the Allied final offensive (Hundred Days Offensive of August to November). However, many American commanders used the same flawed tactics which the British, French, Germans and others had abandoned early in the war, and so many American offensives were not particularly effective. Pershing continued to commit troops to these full- frontal attacks, resulting in high casualties against experienced veteran German and Austrian-Hungarian units. Nevertheless, the infusion of new and fresh U.S. troops greatly strengthened the Allies' strategic position and boosted morale. The Allies achieved victory over Germany on November 11, 1918 after German morale had collapsed both at home and on the battlefield.
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
April / 1917
To Month/Year
November / 1918
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
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  1473 Also There at This Battle:
  • Adkison (MOH), Joseph Bernard, Sgt, (1917-1921)
  • Agee, Alfred, PFC, (1918-1919)
  • Agee, Joseph, Cpl, (1917-1919)
  • Alcorn, Floyd R., SFC, (1912-1918)
  • Alexander, Upton, 1st Sgt, (1898-1933)
  • Anderson, Howard, WAG, (1917-1919)
  • Arch, Alexander Louis, Sgt, (1913-1920)
  • Arnold, Clifford Hood, COL, (1910-1945)
  • Baesel, Albert (MOH), 2LT, (1917-1918)
  • Balentine, Herman Dwight, Cpl, (1918-1919)
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